Snowdonia Marathon 2017



  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    All I had left was one inedible bar and a double espresso gel that I was reserving for emergencies.

    Mile 30 13:12; mile 31 15:31; mile 32 17:33.  I was weaving around the road and struggling to keep up a good walking pace.  Runners were passing me all the time but to be honest they were not going much faster than me, say 5 mph.  One runner told me it had taken her three miles to catch up with me!

    A second bout of blurred vision and yellow flashes.  The sun was beginning to come out but no way was it warm.

    Mile 33 15:36; mile 34 15:49.  At this point I took my gel.
  • John BachJohn Bach ✭✭✭
    Good luck with the new job brer. Interesting hearing the comments re London from a prolific marathon runner. I think I share them although I am (slightly) tempted to try London again - didn't have a great experience in my 1st 2 - 3rd time lucky perhaps!? (my best London time is over 15 minutes slower than my best Snowdonia time)
  • Sorry to hear that the event didn't go to plan T Rex. Sounds like you hit a solid brick wall. Did you Taper at all for the event?

    As a relative marathon novice and i have no experience of Ultra- running, but obviously you just ran out of energy stores.

    Do you think you went out a bit too fast? I am curious to know what happened to you as you have a lot of experience running Ultras.
  • John BachJohn Bach ✭✭✭
    Are you still following the Maffetone approach Ralph. I've been following it since starting up again - week 4 - 1st 2 on treadmill (quite easy to keep h/r below 135'ish) - the last 2 weeks I've been running mainly outside (not as easy to keep to 135'ish!!). So far so good though!!
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Half #3 [cont.]     I probably had passed the emergency point some time previously but I wanted to take the double espresso gel when there were 5 miles to go.  At this point you can see the full extent of the 2.5-mile climb ahead over the shoulder of the southern Maumturks, the so-called 'Hell of the West', and some sort of boost is needed.

    I generally walk most of this hill, in fact most people do, and this year was no exception.

    Although disagreeable at first I did feel a boost from the gel and even started to shuffle up the hill.  You could see a string of runners ahead, ultras and back-marker marathoners, for over a mile.

    It was my intention if at all possible to try to get going with a half-decent finish once over the pass.  

    Mile 35 14:57; mile 36 15:21; mile 37 14:55.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Got to the top finally and due to a mixture of frustration, elation at being able to see the finish 2.5 miles away, and the wonderful downhill run-in this section is, I found a surprising turn of speed.

    Mile 38 7:42 (?!); mile 39 8:14.  I overtook loads of people.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    At last, across the line.  7:03 instead of a PB attempt 6:12.  All very disappointing.

    I think an accumulation of many little things not quite right with my preparation.  A different energy drink mixture, incorrect bars, horrible and unusual porridge for breakfast, not drinking bottled water whilst away (I always do this to avoid stomach upsets with strange tap water), not resting enough the day before, and I think mostly not drinking enough the day before.

    Collected my goodies and had some excellent spicy vegetable soup that they were giving out, but I was alarmed when I went for my first post-race wee.  It was black sludge.

    I knew what this was about, but should I tell anybody?  It's the sign of rhabdomyolysis.  I've had this twice before, and each time I spent 36 hours in A&E on a drip.

    This time I just made the promise to myself to down as much water as possible and hope for the best.

    Things did get more or less normal after about 24 hours and I have lived to tell the tale.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Ah well, better get some sleep.  Off soon for the Malvern Hills ultra.  I'm doing the 45-mile option.

    I'll let you all know how that goes.

    Run tall.

    T Rex
  • Well done on surviving another ultra TR - they always sound like hell but it's all good material for the forthcoming bestseller. Good luck at Malvern. How many ultras is that now?
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Back from Malvern Hills ultra.  A lot tougher than expected!

    Really attractive course over the Worcestershire Way, constantly undulating through fields, woods, and open hillsides along the crest of the Malverns.  I did the out-and-back from Abberley to the Malvern Hills Hotel (45 miles).  Nine intrepid runners were doing the 90-miler running the out-and-back twice, the second time largely in darkness.  Hmm.

    Something I didn't say in my report above is that I went to Ireland with a niggle in the back of the knee and during the ultra there it developed into full-blown posterior cruciate ligament damage.

    I did no running in between and was rather concerned I might not be able to finish yesterday.  In fact over the stretch from about miles 10-15 I was in a lot of pain and every footfall of descent was either very painful or my knee would give way a little (or both).  But it seemed to ease off as the race progressed.

    I finished in a very modest 12h11, near the back of the field.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    I would highly recommend this event for a first ultra.  They do different distances over sections of the course: a 22-mile single leg, and then 29, 38, 45, and the nutter 90 miles.

    I think next year the distances will be longer - they like their longest races to be 50 and 100 miles, but with a new start venue, couldn't quite work out the routes in time this year.  So the shorter distances will also go up a little.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    56 ultras so far - 21 road, 35 offroad.  Four or five more lined up for this year ...

    I think I earn enough UTMB points to enter the thing twice every year!
  • Well done TR, tough couple of weeks. I must give Malvern a go one year as it is only down the road from me. Is there a 100 ultra club?
  • Hi John
    Yep i'm still following the maffetone method. Just didn't want to bore people with the "Boring" nature of my training! I followed 48 miles with 50, 61 and last week another 50. I am now having to work harder to get my hr up to the 142 mark, progress seems good. Glad that you are continuing with the Maf method, John, and you are making good progress.
    T Rex- your Black sludge pee as turned me off any thoughts of an Ultra.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Ralph - I was fine this time!  Better preparation and I think most importantly I kept drinking water all day the day before the race so was well hydrated from the outset.
  • Well done Trex I don't know how you do it. I remember the last time I went to Ireland I had black sludgey pee but it was a stag weekend and I had been drinking to much of the local ale
  • Glad you are fine T Rex!
    Sounds like your body takes a right hiding in these Ultra's...... So as i understand it rhabdomyolysis (i had to look it up) is your body eating your muscles and the subsequent breakdown products are what causes your symptoms and potential problems.
    So that sounds like you needed to significantly up your calorie intake to stop that from happening. Obviously.... easier said than done!
    Do you have very little body fat?
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Ha!  If only.  Rhabdo is where excessively damaged muscle cells leak the protein myoglobin into the blood which then gets in the urine (causing the black colour).  The dangers are pooling of fluid in the damaged muscles leading to compartment syndrome and blocked tubules in the kidneys leading to renal failure.  It can also cause hyperkalaemia (excessive potassium in the blood) leading to heart arrhythmias or cardiac failure.

    The condition is far worse if you are dehydrated so that's something I will be looking at.
  • I think i understand now. I was getting confused with muscle breakdown due to glycogen depletion when it is in fact muscle breakdown due to "Mechanical" damage ie. from running 40 miles.
    Bloomin' scary stuff!
    Sounds like you need your own personal medical team!
    Then you went and did it again at Malvern! You are indeed a nutter.
  • BritNickBritNick ✭✭✭
    T Rex, that's another gripping Ultra story you gave there. Well done with the completion.

    Regarding your symptoms I cannot believe you would suffer such muscle breakdown to cause black weewee. You've been doing Ultras for long enough for your muscles to be up to the job without any such breakdown, surely? I would even expect minimal to no DOMS. Won't it just be dehydration / electrolyte imbalance, probably with lack of fuel as well? Your low energy symptoms would suggest that. Running on empty does trash the muscles and leave you with more DOMS (body fuels on muscles, like Ralph suggested?)

    That's my personal experience anyway with 204 Ultras now under my belt. Since I got fuelling/electrolyte/hydration strategy sorted out over ten years ago I've never really suffered DOMS and never suffered dark brown urine again.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    <<The Master has arrived>>  Hi BritNick.  How is your running at the moment?  Have you had a touch of rhabdo yourself in the past?

    No, believe me, I do suffer a bit in these ultras.  At mile 72 of a Thames Path 100, I was carted off in an ambulance with one leg rigid and the paramedics doing my obs couldn't find a radial pulse, my veins had collapsed too much to get a drip in, I was hypothermic, and had a BP of 90/30 (i.e. low).
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    Apart from those things I was OK.
  • BritNickBritNick ✭✭✭
    I'm doing OK thanks Mr Rex, though somewhat slower than this time last year. Running's taking a bit of a back seat at the moment as I'm chief organiser for a Company Challenge Walk next weekend. I've been enjoying occasional walking reconnoitres in between doing The Fellsman again (10th completion), Lakes Mountain 42, Calderdale Hike 37 and Haworth Hobble 32, plus shorter fell and trail races and a few parkruns. Next fell race tomorrow, then next Wednesday.

    Your 'episodes', which I still wonder might be (de)hydration and fuelling related, must have hammered your kidneys. Have you ever passed a kidney stone? I did once back in 2003 when I still used to get dehydrated with dark brown urine on hot summer days. I'm glad you suffered no permanent after-effects. Too much electrolyte will dehydrate you. I've found it's such a fine balance to get electrolyte concentration and water volume right for the long haul.

    How's everyone else doing? I saw that Brer Rabbit is still hammering the marathons like there's no tomorrow. :-)
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    BN - Yes, she will be catching up with you soon!  All the best with the challenge walk.  What's the challenge you're going to hit them with on event day - that it's 100 miles??!

    I'm not doing any more races until SNOD trail marathon in July.  Going to be concentrating on my cycling, getting ready for Velothon Wales.  Will be borrowing a lightweight bike this time and attempting to give T Rex Jnr a ride for his money.
  • Good luck with Velothon Wales Trex. It's been a while since i have been out on the road bike for a very long cycle. I used to go on 100+ mile cycles when i was really into it. Also use to ride time trials and at manchester velodrome. Haven't been back to the velodrome since april 2009 when i crashed into the back of a fellow rider in the Madison!!
    Still cycle commute, when not running and take little one out for a ride!
    I think it's good to have a good base in cycling and running.
  • Hi all, glad to see this thread still running strong B)
  • panadpanad ✭✭✭
    Hey there!  Are you joining us again this year?
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭
    What's all this 45, TR??  Yes, you coming over to SNOD?  I'm sure you could grab a place off someone.
  • panadpanad ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    (I've got a place going if you want it...becs has decided marathon running is not for her...)

    (and apart from the obvious how on earth did it get to be TR45?)
  • panad I would love that place missed it on January 1st!, doing Excalibur marathon in the morning!
    T-Rex 46 in Feb pal
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